I have two humidifiers (1, 2) running in attempt to combat some severe sinus issues, likely caused by the very dry winter in Boston. I live in an a 450 sq ft studio apartment.

They have been running for about 8 hours. My AcuRite Indoor Humidity monitor showed an initial humidity of 41%, currently at 46%, but hasn't increased for a few hours.

Is a humidity of > 50% attainable/desired? How long should it take? Are these humidifiers sufficient or should I consider a different one?

  • It may also depend on the materials in your apt; is there lots of wood and plaster to soak up the moisture? – Daniel Griscom Jan 15 '17 at 0:26
  • Not a lot. It's a new studio, pretty small and minimalist with laminate floors and no wood. One large open area with a small bathroom. – user39846 Jan 15 '17 at 1:16
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    What kind of heat do you have? Perhaps obvious, but if it's forced hot air, then it's hopeless. – Daniel Griscom Jan 15 '17 at 3:54
  • Appropriate indoor RH depends on outdoor temperature. There's no one correct value. – isherwood Jan 15 '17 at 16:17

The question about the humidifiers is secondary, but related, to the presenting problem "to combat some severe sinus issues".

My wife and I, both, experience Wintertime related sinus issues (drying-out, nosebleeds, increased sensitivity to allergens, etc.).

The level of humidity needed to sufficiently combat the sinus issues of a person would be problematic for everything else; therefore, it's better to treat the person rather than create the ideal environment (or, for example, create the ideal environment in the bathroom and "hang-out" there, lol).

Recommendations for "treating the person" is beyond the scope of the HI/SE.


Forced air heating does not affect the humidity any more than any other type of heating type. People say forced hot air burns off the humidity which just isn't true. Relative humidity is the amount of moisture that can be absorbed by air at a given temperature. If your humidity is actually 46% that is higher than it should be . Also the only way to accurately check the humidity in your home is with a sling psychrometer that measures both the wet bulb and dry bulb temperatures, and uses a chart to determine the % of humidity. When you say the humidifiers have been running for 8 hours that means nothing. Its the amount of water they use, not how long they have been running

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    Caveat: if it's shared forced air heat (or even shared returns/make up air), then OP will be fighting a battle, since they will be humidifying everyone in the buildings apartment. – Tyson Jan 15 '17 at 13:08

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